A year ago today I started working as an associate web developer. Overall, it's been a good year. It's also been a year full of big challenges and changes that included moving to a new city. I've learned a ton. Sometimes I feel confident. Other times I don't.

In the year that I have worked as a developer, what have I learned?

  • I know more than I think I do.
  • I don't know that much.
  • Ask questions.
  • Seek help if you're stuck. Don't dwell on an issue for hours.
  • I can fix little issues in C# and VB. I can't do anything too complicated but there are somethings I can figure out just by looking at the code.
  • When estimating, go with the higher number.
  • Take breaks. Get up every-so-often. Take your full lunch break and go for a walk after eating. It's a good way to reset for the second half of the day. It's also handy when you get frustrated and angry. It's better than crying in your cube.
  • Make lists. Yeah, we have project management apps, help desk apps. However I find writing and prioritizing my tasks for the day helps keep me focused. Plus I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something when I cross off items.
  • Call the client if messaging and emails don't get their attention.
  • I'm better at JavaScript than I used to be. I still suck at it though.
  • I love HTML/CSS.
  • The importance of accessibility and semantic code.
  • Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated and you'll have to use the restroom at some point so it will force you to get up.
  • Wear headphones even if you aren't listening to anything.
  • Getting to work 20-30 min early gives me time to warm up. I like to read articles on front-end development or look at CodePen.
  • Living close to where you work rocks. I can ride my bike and it's saving me lots of money.
  • I'm terrible at golf.

Now that I have worked a full year as a developer, what do I hope to accomplish in the next year?

  • More site construction projects. I built a few sites this year but mostly just did tons fo support and small projects.
  • I want to get more skilled with JavaScript. I don't expect expert level but I certainly want to tackle more.
  • I did great on my billable hours and I want to keep that up and get more!
  • I want to not get so frustrated when I can't figure out a complex problem easily. I need to be more patient with myself.
  • Ask more questions.
  • Learn more because I'm never going to know everything.
  • Realize when things go wrong it's not always my fault.